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13 Banks, S&Ls Robbed in 26 Hours; 3 Arrested

February 20, 1986|MARCIDA DODSON and SIBYL JEFFERSON | Times Staff Writers

Eight Orange County banks and savings and loan institutions were robbed Wednesday, bringing to 13 the number held up within a 26-hour period Tuesday and Wednesday, the FBI reported.

One suspect arrested Wednesday after a robbery in Newport Beach may be responsible for two or three other cases, and two men were seized leaving a Tustin bank in a moving van, said Frank Calley, a supervisor in the FBI's Santa Ana office.

Calley said he has no explanation for the rash of robberies. "When we apprehend them, we'll find out why they did it," he said.

Between 11:30 a.m. and 2:45 p.m. Wednesday, robbers hit two institutions in Tustin, two in Fountain Valley, and one each in Laguna Hills, Costa Mesa, Newport Beach and Anaheim, Calley said.

On Tuesday, robbers visited four banks and one savings and loan in Tustin, Irvine, El Toro, Fountain Valley and Laguna Hills between 12:59 and 3:25 p.m.

No shots were fired, and no one was injured in any of the holdups.

The run on banks is considered unusual even for Southern California, considered the robbery capital of the world.

"We don't keep those kinds of statistics, but I don't ever recall having eight in one day" in Orange County, Calley said.

Police identified the Newport Beach robbery suspect as Emerson Allan Stitt, 20, of Santa Monica. Stitt was arrested shortly after 2 p.m. following a robbery at First Interstate Bank, 2750 W. Coast Highway. A silent alarm at the bank had been triggered, authorities said.

Stitt was being held in Newport Beach jail Wednesday where he was being interviewed "concerning the possibility that he may be responsible for several other robberies in the county," a Newport Beach police spokesman said.

In Tustin, two suspects were arrested in connection with a Wells Fargo Bank robbery at 11:56 a.m., police said. Arrested were Charles Rose, 33, address unknown, and David Barr, 42, of Lincoln, Ill. Police said the two were arrested without incident after an officer spotted a getaway vehicle described by the FBI as a moving van.

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